Listeria monocytogenes contamination is associated with silage that has been subjected to aerobic deterioration. A laboratory ensiling system based on plastic tube silos, which permit aerobic spoilage to take place in a controlled manner, is described. This system gives a high degree of consistency between replicates. Parameters measured over a 90-d ensiling period were pH, L. monocytogenes and Enterobacteriaceae counts and percentage spoilage. The system may be suitable for assessing the effectiveness of additives on parameters, such as aerobic spoilage and L. monocytogenes, which are not easily measurable in field studies. The study confirmed the relationship between the presence of Listeria spp. and Enterobacteriaceae in aerobically spoiled silage, showing that the latter group of bacteria may be useful as indicators of the potential risk of L. monocytogenes contamination of silage.